Climate activists urge Norway, Mexico and South Africa not to give World Bank and Private Sector Role in Green Climate Fund
The Jubilee South Asia Pacific Movement on Debt and Development (JSAPMDD) joined the Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC) and the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ) in a caravan in Makati City to strongly oppose any role of the World Bank in the disbursement and management of climate finance.
The protestors held demonstrations at the Embassies of Mexico, Norway and South Africa as the three countries are the co-chairs of the Transitional Committee tasked by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to design the Green Climate Fund (GCF)– a global fund that will be responsible for managing and disbursing climate finance for developing countries.
"The World Bank has been at the forefront of financing fossil fuel projects that have exacerbated the climate crisis. It is ironic that this same institution that has greatly contributed to the climate crisis is to be entrusted with funds that promise to address the same problem it has helped create," said Lidy Nacpil, Regional Coordinator of JSAPMDD as she deplored the appointment of the World Bank as Trustee of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) during the UNFCCC's Conference of Parties in Cancun, Mexico last December 2010.
As the Transitional Committee is slated to meet in Cape Town, South Africa this October 16 to 18, the demonstrators demanded that the governments of Mexico, Norway and South Africa desist from giving the World Bank further role in the regular structures and operations of the GCF beyond its temporary trusteeship. The TC is supposed to finalize the design of the GCF for approval of the UNFCCC when it meets in December this year for its annual Conference of Parties.
"The World Bank's operations as a lending institution stand in contradiction to what should be principles of fair and effective climate finance. Climate finance must not come in the form of loans or other debt-creating instruments," Nacpil added.
The protestors also criticized the push of rich industrialized countries led by the United States that the private sector should be the main source of climate finance. "Relying on private investments and market-based instruments for climate finance will render public interests to be subordinated to the pursuit of profit and thus subvert the principles and purpose of climate finance," Nacpil said.
"The core contributions to the GCF should be predictable, additional and public. Private donations are welcome but private funds that expect a return of investments are contrary to the principles and purposes of climate finance," Nacpil further asserted.
Nacpil added that private sector participation is best decided, managed, regulated and incentivized at the national level, in the context of national strategy. She further called on the Philippine government to support calls against any role of the World Bank in the GCF as well as reject proposals for the private sector to be the main source of climate finance.
"The Philippines and so many other poor countries have been experiencing severe disasters brought about by climate change. We urgently need effective climate finance so we can deal with the harsh impacts of disasters as well as undertake mitigation measures to prevent catastrophic climate change," Nacpil concluded.